Monday, January 3, 2011

The Bourne Elder


When I wrote last Monday I was still quite, very sick. Despite being sick still, Tuesday I had to travel down to Valéncia, alone, to pick up my DNI card (residency card). It was really fun! I had to take the AVE (high speed) train to Camp Tarragona station 30 minutes away. Then from there I had to take a 20 minute bus ride into Tarragona to the Tarragona station. And from there I caught a regular train to Valéncia. I felt like Jason Bourne. Alone, hopping from train to bus to train in a foreign land (in all honestly thought Spain isn´t too foreign to me anymore). At the Valéncia train station, Elder Shields and his new companion (well not so new anymore), Elder Naseath (he used to be in Lleida), picked me up. Elder Shields was under the impression that the DNI place closed at noon and I arrived right at noon. It really closes at 2, but since we didn´t know, we didn´t go and I got to spend the night in Valéncia! I got to go to the district meeting and since all the districts in the Valéncia zone meet in the Valencia capilla, I got to see most of my old zone! (Alcoy was sick and stayed in piso). Nobody recognized me because I have lost so much weight from walking and from my illness! It was really nice seeing everyone. I only got to see Elder Lara for a little bit because he was going on exchanges with Caterroja. After the district meetings, I went on an eating cita with Elder Ames and Elder Montoya (from caterroja). I could not eat anything still, which was torture because they made pumpkin pie!!!!!!!!! They don´t have pumpkin stuff here ever!!! I was very sad! haha. Then that evening I went on splits with Sergio. He seemed quite impressed with the improvement in my Spanish and was able to talk to him the entire evening. We went and visited his mom, who is still investigating the church and then we visited another family that I used to teach. Everyone was impressed that I was speaking more Spanish. We ended the night by visiting Patricia and Simon and their family. They were my favorite member family (other than the Mambos). I didn´t get to say goodbye when I left for transfers so it was really nice to get to finally say goodbye! Wednesday morning I picked up my DNI card and left back for Lleida. It was really nice spending some time with Elder Shields, Elder Ames, and Elder Montoya again. I also enjoyed getting to know Elder Naseath.

Tuesday night there were no elders in Lleida. The Hinckleys set up an appointment for Elder Parrish with a specialist in Barcelona because Elder Parrish was worse than me. So they sent Elder Parrish and Elder Plaskett to Barcelona. Elder Da Silva was going to wait for me in Lleida with a member. Since I had to spend the night, Elder Da Silva had to go to Tarragona and stay with the our district leader. Thus there we no elders in Lleida. Wednesday on my way back through Tarragona, I picked up Elder Da Silva and we ended up catching the same AVE in Camp Tarragona that the other elders were on from Barcelona. So all four of us arrived back in Lleida together.

Thursday I started keeping toast in my body. Friday morning I ate more toast. Friday afternoon I had rice. And Friday by evening I was eating everything (although I avoided dairy and meats). Thus I was finally better!!!!!! However for the following days I was perpetually hungry. Although, I haven´t gained any weight back yet!

We had trouble getting visits on Friday and Saturday. Everyone was partying with family and friends. Thus we had a slow weekend. We spent a lot of time Saturday with Alex. He cooked us an AMAZING meal of pork, rice, and potatoes. Brazilians really know how to cook! So I got to have some pork on New Years! I actually did buy some saurkraut and pork to eat so I can have my goodluck, but I´m still a little afraid to eat it (the saurkraut) since I´m still recovering. So I don´t know when I´ll have it.

During our meal we got a call to come sing with the ward choir at a hospital. We went. And Alex (a less active member) came with us! It was exciting!!

Sunday evening the ward choir had another Christmas concert. This time it was at a fancier but still small auditoreum. Not as many people showed up, but it was still nice. It is really cool in Spain, becasue the Holiday Season lasts forever! It doesn´t end with New Years because they celebrate Reyes (Kings´ Day)! It´s on January 6 and apparently it´s bigger than Christmas. Most kids don´t get their presents until then. Thus all the Christmas lights and music are still up and playing! I LOVE IT!!!

Well I am out of time. I won´t upload any pictures this week. Sorry!

¡Feliz Reyes! ¡Hasta luego!

Elder Buchkovich

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